If you were someone affected by a retinal disease, and looking for the perfect event, one which combines the latest research updates with networking opportunities and support sessions, it would look exactly like the one FFB is hosting in Colorado June 19-22 — VISIONS 2014. Roughly 500 Foundation members, associates and researchers will gather at the annual conference, which will also be covered via this blog and social media, for those who can and can’t make it.
If you can (and, although online registration has closed, walk-ins will be accepted), Friday and Saturday, in particular, will be chock full of informative sessions. A sampling includes “Insight Into iDevices,” “Fighting Blindness with Gene Therapy,” “Clinical Trials: Am I Ready?” and “STEM for Visually Impaired Students.” You’ll find the sessions schedule here.
There will also be 26 exhibitors, including companies or organizations focused on assistive technology, job placement, genetic testing and support services. The conference’s keynote speaker is Tom Sullivan, who is completely blind and, since the 1970s, has appeared as an actor, singer and author on many TV and talk shows. His autobiography, If You Could See What I Hear, was turned into a feature film in 1982.
Another conference highlight is a session on My Retina Tracker, the Foundation’s new online patient registry. It’s a secure, user-friendly database for people with retinal diseases who want to take an active role in managing their care by storing information about their conditions and tracking test results and doctors’ visits. Researchers will also be able to use the database to gain a better understanding of retinal diseases and identify potential clinical-trial participants.
VISIONS 2014 will also promote the Foundation’s Summer Challenge to End Blindness, an awareness- and fundraising campaign offering many ways in which to support our cause.
It’s always best to attend a VISIONS conference in person, but the next-best option is to visit our VISIONS connect page to catch up on the coverage. Either way, we hope to see you there.